Albertans and addiction - More Albertans seek treatment for substance abuse than other Canadians



    RED DEER, AB, May 30 /CNW/ - A new study on the health and well-being of
working Albertans is showing almost twice the national rate of reporting
addiction problems and substance abuse issues through Employee Assistance
Programs.
    "We are seeing a very unusual trend here, and it is likely linked with
Alberta's sudden growth," says Rod Phillips, President and CEO of Shepell-fgi.
"We are seeing a number of people coming to this province for great jobs and
great opportunities - but at the same time they are under a lot of stress and
don't have their normal support systems available."
    The very latest research from the Shepell-fgi Research Group shows
Albertans accessed Employee Assistance Programs for help with addiction
problems at a rate of 2.0 per cent for alcohol abuse - almost twice the
national rate of 1.2 per cent. Addiction problems with illicit drugs were also
much higher than the national average at 1.4%, versus a national average of
0.9%.
    "This is not necessarily negative news," added Phillips. "People are
seeking treatment either for themselves or a family member - they are reaching
out to get the help they need and that is a very positive sign."
    Shepell-fgi's research also shows overwhelmingly more young men are
seeking help, and that specifically men under 30 are seven per cent more
likely to seek help than in the rest of Canada. Overall, men in Alberta are
10% more likely to seek help than in other parts of the country.
    "We're also seeing that a quarter of those seeking help from their
Employee Assistance provider have been with their company for less than a
year. That's a significantly higher rate than in other provinces," said Paula
Allen, Shepell-fgi's Vice President of Health Solutions and Research. "This
really shows that provinces like Alberta are unique - and their health issues
must be addressed at a regional level."
    "There is truly no "head office answer" to keep these employees healthy
and happy."
    The study is part of a larger report from Shepell-fgi that looks at the
health of employees region by region. The full report will be released
nation-wide on June 27th.

    About Shepell-fgi and the Shepell-fgi Research Group

    Shepell-fgi is Canada's leading provider of workplace health services,
including prevention-focused Employee Assistance Programs. The company
services over six million employees and their families across Canada, the
United States and internationally. Shepell-fgi helps organizations maintain
healthy employees and healthy workplaces.
    The Shepell-fgi Research group, a division of Shepell-fgi, has a mandate
to educate employers and business leaders on physical, mental and social
health issues as these factors impact employees, their families and their
workplaces. The Shepell-fgi Research Group offers a precise understanding of
health and wellness trends by conducting sector and issue-based analysis.
Since 2004, the Shepell-fgi research group has published thirteen issues based
reports and seven sector based reports.

    www.shepellfgi.com





For further information:

For further information: Rosalind Robertson, PR and Events Manager,
Shepell-fgi, rrobertson@shepellfgi.com, (416) 355-5424

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SHEPELL-FGI

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